The Most Critical Factor in Achieving Your Goals | Goal Planning

As we roll into the second quarter of the year, you may be finally starting to consider your business goals for this year.

Given how 2020 has gone, maybe your primary ambition is to survive in 2021. Perhaps you’re going to create a recurring revenue stream or finally hire that general manager. Or perhaps  you’ve decided to start preparing your exit strategy.

Whatever your goals are, the most important thing you can do now is write down your plan to achieve them.


A Revealing Study

This point was driven home recently by a study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology. The project was designed to see what impact stimuli would have on participants’ level of exercise. Researchers divided a random sample of participants into three groups.

Group One: Were asked to read an excerpt of something not related to exercise, then asked to keep track of their workouts.

Group Two: Were asked to read a motivational excerpt about the benefits of exercise, then asked to keep track of their workouts.

Group Three: Were asked to read the same motivational excerpt as the second group about the benefits of exercise, but were asked to write down their exercise goals for the coming week.


The Results

When the researchers sat down to analyze the results, they were surprised to find that among the motivated group (group 2), just 35% exercised once per week. That was slightly less exercise than group 1 (36%) even though they were motivated to work out.

When the researchers analyzed the third group’s exercise log, they were stunned to find that 91% of them had worked out. The only difference between groups 2 and 3 was that the third group was asked to write down their goals. That simple task seems to have almost tripled their likelihood to succeed.

The researchers concluded that motivation alone has virtually no impact on our actions. Instead, it is motivation coupled with a written action plan of how to achieve your goals that has the most significant impact on your results.

Every year on January 1st, I write my new year’s goals down on paper. I divide them into various categories: Business, Financial, Personal, House projects, & Farm projects. For those of you who don’t know me yet, my wife and I own a Christmas tree farm in Nebraska. On this day, I also call all my kids to do the same thing. I’m not sure that they actually do this exercise, but they tell me they do. I keep my list close by to review throughout the year. It is amazing when you write down your goals, how many you actually accomplish. I have also done this with my employees, and they have relayed the same result. I’m sorry to say that for 2020, my success rate was below average, but 2021 is a new year.


10 Resolutions That Will Boost the Value of Your Company

If your goal is to build a more valuable company in 2021, here are some 2021 resolutions to consider:

      1. Stop chasing revenue. A bigger company is not necessarily a more valuable one if the extra sales come from products and services that are too reliant on you to deliver them.
      2. Start surveying your customers using the Net Promoter Score methodology. It’s a fast and easy way for your customers to give you feedback, and it’s predictive of your company’s growth in the future.
      3. Sell less stuff to more people. The most valuable companies have a defendable niche selling a few differentiated products and services to many customers. The least valuable businesses sell lots of undifferentiated products and services to a concentrated group of buyers.
      4. Drop the products or services that depend on you. Consider dropping any services and products that require your time and cash and don’t significantly contribute to your business’s value.
      5. Collect more money up front. Turn a negative cash flow cycle into a positive one and you boost your business’s value and lessen your stress load.
      6. Create more recurring revenue. Predictable sales from subscriptions or recurring contracts mean less stress in the short term and a more valuable business over the long run. For example, the creation of recurring subscription revenue such as wash dry fold or periodic household item cleaning.
      7. Be different. Refine your marketing strategy to emphasize the point of differentiation that customers value. Be relentless in highlighting this advantage. Many people refer to this as your value proposition. If you were to list 3 things that YOUR company excels in that none of your competitors can, claim all three.
      8. Find a backup supplier for your most critical raw materials. Consider placing a small order to establish a commercial relationship and diversify the sources of your most-difficult-to-find materials. In this unpredictable market, many suppliers have also gone out of business – always have a backup.
      9. Teach them to fish. Answer every employee question of you with “What would you do if you owned the business?” Your goal should be to cultivate employees who think like owners so they can start answering their own questions without coming to you.
      10. Create an instruction manual. Document your most important processes so your employees can do their work independently. This is best done by your employees, reviewed & approved by you, and never changed without your concurrence.

Here’s to building a more valuable company in 2021! Food for thought as you are thinking about making 2021 your best year yet.

To help you with your goal setting we’ve created a planner that will help you define your goals and stick to them.

Want to take control of your business?

It is time to reclaim your life and make your business work for you! Get our FREE E-Book: Famous or Rich: 9 Ways Value Builders Prioritize Wealth Over Recognition.

How Business Coaching Can Help

Service companies, trades, restoration companies, dry cleaning businesses, laundry businesses come to me for assistance in:
  • Developing systems to create smoother operation, improving processes and removing bottlenecks
  • Implementing team management practices including meetings, delegation and working with challenging communication issues
  • Interpreting financial statements and using the information to make better decisions and become more profitable
  • Sales and marketing help to get better clients and bigger projects
If coaching with me sounds like something you’d like to explore, I invite you to book a confidential 15-minute call so we can each assess whether or not it will be a fit.

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